What is Deportation?
Deportation is the act of formally and forcefully removing foreigners from U.S. soil to their country of origin. The words deportation and removal are identical in this context.
How many people are deported every year?
An increasing number of foreigners are deported from the United States each year. Approximately 400,000 non-US citizens were detained by immigration enforcement agencies in 2010.
What agencies are involved?
Deportations are joint efforts by various federal and state agencies. In particular, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs & Border Patrol (CBP), Detention and Removal Operations (DRO), the Office of District Counsel (Formerly called Trial Attorneys), the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), and the Division of Unaccompanied Children’s Services (DUCS) are involved.
When do I need a lawyer?
The earlier, the better. Lawyers can be most effective when they participate and shape the case from the beginning of a case. In fact, a lot of immigration and deportation cases are won in the first days and weeks. The longer the case lasts and the longer a deportee is unrepresented, the lower the chances of avoiding actual detention and deportation.
Why do I need a lawyer?
The government refuses to sponsor immigrants’ legal representation. In other words, unless an immigrant finds an attorney who will represent the deportee free of charge, the immigrant will have to pay an attorney or represent himself.
How high are the legal fees?
Immigration and deportation laws are very complex. At the end of the day, each case is a fight of an unwanted alien against the combined forces of the United States government, quite a powerful opponent. Attorneys throughout the country charge between $ 3,000 and $ 10,000, depending on the facts and complexity of the respective case. We are within that range.
Any violation of U.S. immigration laws can lead to a forceful removal from the United States.
In particular, the following acts constitute immigration law violations:
• Entering the country illegally
• Violations of visa restrictions (e.g. working without permit)
• Certain criminal convictions
• Membership in prohibited organizations (e.g. terroristic plots)
It is fair to say that any form of criminal record severely jeopardizes the individual’s status as lawful resident. Even if an immigrant has spent all his life in the United States, without proper legal representation, federal authorities are likely to remove the individual for any conduct of a violent crime.
Particularly problematic are so-called "aggravated felonies" like murder, rape, illicit trafficking, money laundering, bribery, counterfeiting, forgery, perjury, firearms, explosives or arson charges, any violent crime, for which the term of imprisonment imposed is at least 1 year.
Foreign convictions will have the same effect, where the term of imprisonment was completed within the last 15 years.
Deportation proceedings begin with a Notice to Appear in Removal Proceedings. Thereafter, a Master Calendar hearing is held in Immigration Court within the Department of Justice so that the alien may respond to the charges. If the judge rules that the deportation proceeds, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) carries out the removal order.
What are immigration courts?
Federal Immigration Courts are administrative courts as part of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) within the Federal Department of Justice.
Immigration Courts decide on the immigration status and deportation issues of people arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
How are immigration courts different from other courts?
Notably, the Federal Rules of Evidence do not govern proceedings in Immigration Court. Hearsay is generally admissible in immigration court.
Once an immigration judge has made a decision in a particular case, no matter in which part of the United States, the first appeal goes to an administrative appeals court located in EOIR headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia, called the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).
Because the BIA is part of the Department of Justice, the Attorney General may decide cases directly.
If a party wants to appeal a decision of the BIA, the Circuit Court of Appeal for the circuit in which the case was originally decided is the competent venue.
What is detention?
To avoid escape, immigrants that are in removal proceedings are typically taken into federal immigration custody and detained while their immigration court proceedings are ongoing. The detention ends either when an immigrant wins his or her case and is released, or when he or she is deported.
How long are people kept in immigration detention?
It depends. Estimates are from one month to six months. In rare case, individuals may be detained for more than a year unless they agree to be deported voluntarily.
What is the difference between being in detention and being in jail?
Even though the word "detention" is used for persons in immigration custody because their detention is considered administrative custody as opposed to criminal custody, the people in federal immigration detention are imprisoned.
WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU
Winning a deportation case is not impossible. There are a number of ways of securing the immigration status of those that are detained and on the edge of being forcefully removed from the United States.
If your dream is to live in the United States and the government is about to jeopardize your dream, you will need an experienced attorney. Call us today.
Certain factors will improve your standing and your chances to remain in the United States.
Among those factors are:
• The time you have been living in the United States
• Family ties in the U.S.
• Criminal history.
For example, deportations can end if an individual has continuously resided in the United States for seven years.
If a person has been in the US for ten years, that individual can sometimes become a permanent resident in Removal Proceedings and thus avoid deportation.
The following factors will help to qualify for bond release:
• No terrorist activities
• No criminal conviction
• Assurance of compliance with all future hearings
Special rules for persons seeking asylum:
If you are seeking asylum, bond is still possible where:
• No terrorist activities
• No criminal conviction
• Proof of identity and residency are possible
• No danger to the community
When is bond not possible?
• Conviction of drug related crimes
• Aggravated felonies
What is "Prosecutorial Discretion" and how can someone get it?
Prosecutorial Discretion is the power that ICE Agents and Trial Attorneys have to decide whether or not to place an immigrant into removal proceedings, whether or not to detain and immigrant, and whether or not to proceed with prosecuting an immigrant's case in Immigration Court.
At any time, an immigrant, his or her family and/or his or her attorney can ask ICE to exercise their discretion and release the person, not put them into proceedings in the first place, not take them into custody and/or agree to close their immigration case.
• Individuals who are long-term residents of the United States;
• If a family member submitted an application petitioning for the lawful permanent residence (green card) for the person sometime in the past;
• If the person is married to a United States citizen, or has a United States citizen child who is 21 years or older and the person entered the U.S. legally;
• The person has had their green card for more than 5 years;
• The person has continuously resided in the United States for 10 years and has a parent, spouse, or child who is a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident and that relative would suffer exceptional and extremely unusual hardship if their relative was deported, such as someone who has a serious medical condition;
• The person fears returning to his or her country of origin because he or she believes they would be harmed or tortured if they did;
• The person has been the victim of a violent crime here in the United States and cooperated with law enforcement officials; or
• The person was a victim of human trafficking.
• Individuals with no criminal records